SEOUL, Oct 18, 2011 (AFP) - South Korean police said Tuesday two people have been arrested for infecting about 16,000 personal computers with hacking programmes which allowed them to secretly record video of their victims.
The two, one an ethnic Korean from China, are suspected of producing or obtaining five types of hacking programmes to control affected computers remotely and record audio and video, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said.
They are accused of infecting about 16,000 personal computers in South Korea with their programmes from August 2010, and of stealing IDs and passwords for managers of loan issuers from an infected computer, it said.
The pair, both 34, allegedly lured Internet users to click on pornographic postings which automatically infected their computers.
Their programmes allowed the hackers to secretly record video or audio of the users through their webcams or microphones, police said, adding three other people were investigated for using the programmes to trick computer gamers.
An unnamed police official told Yonhap news agency that the programmes would infringe on privacy and also pose a threat to national security.
South Korea, the world's most wired nation with more than 90 percent of homes connected to the Internet, has expressed concern about cyber attacks from North Korea and China.
The North, which reportedly maintains elite hacker units, has been accused of several cyber attacks on websites of major South Korean government agencies and financial institutions in recent years.
In August, police said they busted an alleged criminal gang which hired elite North Korean hackers to break into online game sites and steal prize points worth $5.9 million.
Pyongyang has accused Seoul of inventing the charges to raise tensions.